Beyond Placebo: How Expectation Guides Experience in Medicine, Business and Life
Partner, The Wizard of Ads Group
Ray Seggern’s earliest foray into entrepreneurship was selling cinnamon toothpicks to fellow fourth graders on the playground at St. Mary’s School in Taylor, Texas. A prize-winning high school debater, Ray planned to become a lawyer, but at the University of Texas he worked for NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT and started a band. He worked as a music critic for the Austin Chronicle, left college and migrated into the murky world of rock-n-roll concert promotion, co-producing the earliest Austin concerts by Pearl Jam, Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against The Machine and countless others.
Ray re-enrolled at UT to pursue a career in broadcasting, and received a “Best Of Austin” award in 1994 from the Austin Chronicle for “Best Late Night Radio Host.” Moving to Tulsa for a gig at a top-rated rock station, he segued into management, for which he also won awards as a promotions director (American Women in Radio and Television), a music director (Billboard Magazine and The Gavin Report) and an ad writer (Tulsa Advertising Federation’s Addy Awards).
Ray started an alternative weekly newspaper, The Tulsa Independent. In retrospect, August 2001 was a horrible month to launch a new media enterprise. The paper survived 9/11 and published into the spring of 2002 before he pulled the plug. From there it was back to Austin and back into radio until he went to work as an entry-level copywriter in the office of best-selling author and marketing guru Roy H. Williams, who was early in the development of the global expansion of his operation. Two years later, Ray became a partner, and the Wizard Of Ads Group now has 43 offices across the US, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Australia, with the whole operation headquartered out of Austin.
Still a radio dabbler, Ray’s downtempo electronic music show Chillville is heard Sunday mornings on alt-rock outlet 101x. It won an Austin Music Award for “Best Radio Music Program” at South-By-Southwest in 2008. He’s also a shadetree filmmaker, an occasional guitar player, and an avid teetotalist since 2009. He lives in North Central Austin with his daughters Cassidy and Stevie.